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AKP leaders are taking a risk by this all-track diplomacy. They might win big or lose big.

They have many in their cadres which could trigger this shift from traditional Turkish foreign policy and there have been signs of it already. Now, they are relieved of the closure ban and they are pushing for it. 

After the visit of Iran’s leader, now there comes the mini African Summit and a notarious African leader, Bashir comes to Turkey second time in less than a year. As part of a grand plan, these risky visits might work but they are just too risky. The plan is to create independent good, powerful and profitable relations with neigbours. The plan is very innovative. After the 2nd WW, traditional Turkish foreign policy depended on its geostrategic importance for US. This symbolically ended in the first Gulf War where Turkey lost great and it became one of the sources of economic crisis in 2001. Major reliance on EU process in recent years also ended when AKP could not get enough of the process. Since 2004, AKP lost its belief in EU in general. I don’t think this means hostile thinking against EU or US. Although ideologues of the new FP attempt might be uneasy with them, their main goal seems to make Turkey a more equal partner in relations with EU or US.

However, even for those who try to be more neutral to AKP, there is the problem of substance. Is there any substance in possible relations with the new ‘allies’?  Like it or not, TR has been part of the Western system since 2WW. Political, cultural, economic relations all depended on this system although they were never satisfying. Can there be sustainable relations with others? Particularly when some of the others are subject to systemic hostility?

The ideologues of the AKP Foreign Policy (first person to come to my mind is Prof. Ahmet Davutoğlu, is known to have Neo-Ottoman tendencies. However, he and others seem to be realistic, too.

 

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